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Climate - July 16

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True to form, Bush administration still refuses to regulate greenhouse gases

Gerry Karry, Platt's
Shortly after taking office in 2001, President Bush reneged on a campaign pledge to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from US power plants. Last week the administration, in office for only six more months, closed the circle and announced that it still would not regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Given what the Washington Post called seven years of administration "denial, inaction and foot-dragging," the decision should have surprised no one. But what set it apart from business-as-usual was that it was in response to a US Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act...The Clean Air Act, in fact, was not intended to control greenhouse gas emissions. But because the administration (and Congress) have failed to develop an alternative, it is the only vehicle currently available.
(15 July 2008)


White House buries climate change deaths report

The Daily Telegraph
The White House buried a report prepared by US government scientists which detailed a rising death toll from heat waves, fires, disease and smog they predicted would be caused by global warming.

Environmental advocates accused President George W Bush's administration of delaying the release of the 149-page report so that it could avoid regulating greenhouse gases.

The Bush administration has worked to discourage a link between public health and climate change, fearing this would compel the government to regulate greenhouse gases

It was prepared as part of a response to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling under the Clean Air Act, which found the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate greenhouse gases unless there was a scientific reason not to, but was not made public until Monday.

The report lays out for the first time the scientific case for the grave risks that global warming poses to people, and to the food, energy and water on which society depends...
(15 July 2008)


Diary: Colorado River drought

Matthew Price , BBC Online
The south-western US is suffering its eighth consecutive year of drought. There are concerns that the Colorado River, which has sustained life in the area for thousands of years, can no longer meet the needs of the tens of millions of people living in major cities such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The BBC's Matthew Price is travelling along the river to investigate the scale of the problem and is sending a series of diary items from there.
(16 July 2008)

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